Can PS5 play PS3 games?

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The PlayStation 5 is finally receiving some form of backwards compatibility, and so one question on everyone's lips is if the PS5 can play PS3 games.

As we've highlighted before, PS5 backwards compatibility is a major talking point with the next-gen console. Gamers have been desperate to know whether classic games from older PlayStation consoles will be available on the PS5. This is a sticking point for Sony and PS5 owners, as Microsoft has a plethora of backwards compatibility functions and features available across its range of Xbox consoles.

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So, we're jumping back another generation to look at whether the PS5 can play PS3 games.

Can You Play PS3 Games On PS5?

Physical copies of PS3 games are currently not playable on the PS5. Games bought digitally on the PlayStation 3 are similarly unavailable on the PS5.

However, there is some good news coming for PS3 fans who own a PS5. Through the PS Plus Premium service coming in June 2022, subscribers will be able to play a selection of PS1, PS2, PSP, and PS3 games. However, while the PS1 and PS2 games are available to download, the PS3 games are only available via cloud streaming.

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PlayStation Now already includes a hefty library of classic PS3 games available for its subscribers. This service includes the likes of God of War, Little Big Planet and, curiously, the PS3 version of Battlefield: Hardline. Who knows why?

Read More: Does the PS5 support cross-play with the PS4?

The Issues Between PS3 And PS5

One of the key aspects in making a console backwards compatible is whether the architecture of the new console is similar enough to the console in question. This is one of the reasons that so many PS4 games are playable on the PS5.

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The older PS3 is substantially different to the PS5 in this regard, making it much more difficult to make those games playable on the new console.

However, what many PS3 fans have questioned is why the PS3 games are not available to download on the PS Plus Premium service, yet PS1 and PS2 games are. As per Kotaku, this is apparently because the PS3's hardware is much more complex - and different - than any other console, meaning it would require a lot more work, and hours of development, to get this sorted on the PS5.

Read More: The PS3 was “a very lacklustre platform”, admits Sony’s PlayStation exec Jim Ryan